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Monday December 17, 2007 - 16:48:16 GMT
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Forex Market Commentary and Analysis (17 December 2007)

The euro depreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the single currency tested bids around the US$ 1.4330 level and was capped around the $1.4450 level.  The common currency extended its recent sell-off and reached its weakest level since 26 October.  Data released in the U.S. today saw October net foreign purchases of long-maturity securities rebound to US$ 101.5 billion from –US$ 5.2 billion the previous month.  Net purchases escalated to US$ 114.0 billion from US$ 15.4 billion in September and “monthly net TIC flows” including non-market flows, short-term securities, and changes in banks’ dollar holdings improved to US$ 97.8 billion.  Notably, the U.S.’s trade balance was –US$ 57.82 billion in October thus TICS flows financed the trade gap.  Other data released today saw the Q3 current account deficit recede to –US$ 178.5 billion from a revised -$188.9 billion in Q2.  Additionally, the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Empire State manufacturing index fell seventeen points to 10.31, its lowest reading since May.  In eurozone news, the EMU-13 PMI manufacturing survey came off while the December services PMI survey fell to 53.2, its weakest reading since June 2005.  Bundesbank reported German GDP growth is expected to fall to 1.6% in 2008 with inflation increasing to 2.3%.  Euro bids are cited around the US$ 1.4355 level.

¥/ CNY

The yen appreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥112.80 level and was capped around the ¥113.50 level.  The pair consolidated some of last week’s gains that saw the yen surrender more than 150 pips.  Data released in Japan overnight saw the October index of leading economic indicators downwardly revised to 18.2 from 20.0 while the coincident index was upwardly revised to 70.0.   Bank of Japan’s Policy Board is not expected to lift the overnight call rate from 0.50% for several months and traders are waiting to see if the central bank reduces its assessment of the economy this week.  The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.71% to close at ¥15,249.79.  Dollar bids are cited around the ¥112.50/ 111.75 levels.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥162.35 level and was capped around the ¥163.50 level. The British pound and Swiss franc depreciated vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥227.35 and ¥97.85 levels, respectively.  The Chinese yuan depreciated significantly vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.3873 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 7.3720.  PBoC announced large domestic banks will need to set aside U.S. dollars rather than yuan to cover the four most recent increases in reserve requirements.

The British pound slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as cable tested bids around the US$ 2.0100 figure and was capped around the $2.0215 level.  Technically, today’s intraday high was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from $1.9650 to $2.1160.  Data released in the U.K. today saw December house prices fall 3.2% m/m.  CBI reduced its 2008 GDP forecast to 2.0% from 2.2%.  Cable bids are cited around the US$ 2.0005 level.  The euro came off vis-à-vis the British pound as the single currency tested bids around the ₤0.7120 level and was capped around the ₤0.7155 level.


The Swiss franc depreciated marginally vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the CHF 1.1575 level and was supported around the CHF 1.1515 level.  Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 61.8% retracement of the move from CHF 1.1895 to CHF 1.0885.  The KOF institute lifted its Swiss 2007 and 2008 GDP forecasts to 2.9% and 2.1%, respectively.  Data released in Switzerland today saw Q3 industrial production increase 10.7% y/y.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the CHF 1.1680 level.  The euro and British pound came off vis-à-vis the Swiss franc as the crosses tested bids around the CHF 1.6565 and CHF 2.3215 levels, respectively.

A$/ NZ$

The Australian dollar slumped vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the Aussie tested bids around the US$ 0.8555 level and was capped around the $0.8650 level.  The pair reached its weakest level since 20 September.  Data released in Australia today saw Q3 housing starts up 7.5%.  Australian dollar bids are cited around the US$ 0.8330 level.  The New Zealand dollar fell sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the kiwi tested bids around the US$ 0.7520 level and was capped around the US$ 0.7695 level.  


The Canadian dollar appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today
as the greenback tested bids around the C$ 1.0025 level and was capped around the C$ 1.0225 level.  Traders are closely monitoring reports about funding difficulties in Canada’s asset-backed commercial paper market. Data released in Canada today saw Canadians purchase C$ 4.78 billion of foreign securities in October while foreigners sold US$ 24.13 billion of Canadian securities.  U.S. dollar offers are cited around the C$ 1.0175 level.


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